Hello! Christmas is only a week away, so I thought you might need some ideas for books and stories to get you in the mood. Here are some of my all-time favorites!
Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle: Well, I had to start with this one, and obviously I'm biased, but I read and loved this well before I ever talked to Maureen (or John). These interconnected novellas detail what happens when one small town is hit with a Christmas snowstorm and a stuck train. It's the perfect read for when things in your life aren't going according to plan but you want a warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling anyway.
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: I just read this for the first time this year, and it's another good one for when your Christmas feelings are a little mixed - especially because of the way the point of view alternates between the two characters. Lily's always been pretty into Christmas, Dash hasn't, and this year they're both at loose ends. There's some bonus awesome bookstore stuff, a lot of humor, and a nice dash - hah, I crack myself up - of romance.
This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy: Binchy is often a bit treacly for my taste, but this collection of short stories is shockingly un-treacly. Everyone's lives are messed up, and Christmas doesn't magically fix everything, but people get by and life goes on. It's sort of refreshing, really.
Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare: This Regency Christmas romance novella has spies and spinsters and a practical heroine and people who learn languages for the fun of it. It's a good time.
Christmas with Anne by L.M. Montgomery: If you grew up with Anne of Green Gables, you'll love this collection of Christmas stories (plus Christmas chapters from the Anne books) by the same author. Some were originally written for Sunday school magazines, so lay on the moral a bit thick, but they're sweet, old-fashioned stories that I, for one, find really delightful.
"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Christmas and Sherlock Holmes: Two great tastes that taste great together! It's in the public domain, so you can read the whole thing right here, and it's a pretty good entry point to the original stories.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: The obvious choice, yes, and you've probably seen a million adaptations and may be a little sick of the whole thing, but if you haven't actually read it, do yourself a favor and give it a try. This should go without saying, I guess, but what sometimes gets lost in the innumerable adaptations and variations and homages and spoofs is the actual writing, and Dickens is really freaking good. You can download the free ebook here.
Merry Christmas and happy reading!